PC cases and cooling stalwart Akasa has revealed its new Gecko Cooler for M.2 SSDs. The firm has previously released some M.2 heatsinks, but this is its first active cooler for this increasingly popular PC storage form factor. As well as being a first for Akasa, this seems to be the first blower-style cooler for M.2 devices in general. Blower coolers, and tiny fans, tend to generate characteristic noise profiles that are harder to ignore (often sounding whiney). Despite being called the Akasa Gecko, the design looks more like a snail, which PC component makers, who tend to focus on speed, don’t like to associate their products with.
Akasa’s design is compatible with any standard M.2 2280 SSD. It is constructed in full black livery, from its steel bracket, with aluminum heatsink, and on top of this is affixed the blower cooler assembly which features a 50 x 50 x 15mm fan. When installed on your M.2 SSD, the top of the device is 72.53mm above the motherboard (max compatibility). This 120g cooler is said to be easy to install, but its main claim to fame is that it can reduce your SSD temperatures by 58% compared to a drive with no thermal solution.
Akasa provides some cooling comparisons. In the above chart, a stressed SSD without thermal solution reached around 80 degrees Celsius. But the Gecko-cooled sample remained under 40 degrees Celsius over the same tests.
As mentioned in the intro, blower-style coolers have a bit of a reputation for unpleasant noise. We can’t say much about the actual sound profile without a review unit, but Akasa’s specifications suggest that the active 50mm fan in this design crests at 29dB noise, even as it hits 3,000 RPM. The twin ball-bearing fan delivers a max 3.98 CFM airflow, and a max 8.2 mm-H2O air pressure.
Akasa’s Gecko Cooler looks reasonably well made, and the firm provides a good selection of accessories for fitting. Between the steel bracket and the M.2 SSD you fit the supplied thermal pad, then there is another thermal pad to go on top of the 2280 form factor drive, followed by the heatsink and active fan assembly.
Over the last few months, we have seen quite a few new active and elaborate passive cooler solutions for M.2 SSDs, and even some designed for liquid cooling. At the present time, only those with the most performant cutting-edge PCIe Gen 4.0 and Gen 5.0 M.2 SSDs will need anything better than a modest heatsink to prevent throttling. But with support now on both AMD and Intel’s current-gen platforms, we expect to see lots of PCIe 5.0 SSDs arriving soon.
Pricing and availability for the Akasa Gecko Cooler has yet to be revealed. Its passive Gecko Pro brother is priced at just $8, so we don’t expect this active cooler to be to cost prohibitive.